Philip Emery recently was honored by the Maine Interscholastic Swimming and Diving Coaches Association as the first and only recipient of the Spirit of the Sport Award.

Henceforth, the award will be known as the Phil Emery Spirit of the Sport Award.

“The Maine Interscholastic Swim League Awards Committee established the ‘Spirit of the Sport Award’ in recognition of a member of the swimming community who has best exemplified and contributed to the spirit of the sport, someone who has given above and beyond to the sport of swimming and diving … perhaps one who has overcome adversity or a challenging circumstance,” according to a release from Brewer High School swim coach Kathy Cahill, a member of the MISDCA.

“Coach Emery had a special ability to connect with every team member in such a way that his boys believed they were champions in and out of the pool,” the release said. “He instilled a tremendous sense of pride in each team member: Personal pride, team pride, school pride and community pride. Although he recognized that not everyone he coached would become an elite swimmer, he treated each boy as critical part of the group and a contributor to the team.”

During Emery’s 46 years as the Bangor High boys coach, the Rams won 26 state titles, one New England championship and 29 Penobscot Valley Conference championships. Bangor won 337 dual meets and lost only 39 under Emery’s direction. He retired from coaching in 2015.

Emery has been inducted into the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association Hall of Fame (2013), the Maine Swimming Hall of Fame (2006) and the Maine Sports Hall of Fame (2003).

Short strokes

Emma Waddell of Bangor has been named New England Small College Athletic Conference Swimmer of the Year for the second consecutive year.

The Williams College senior will race at the NCAA Division lll nationals March 21-24 in Indianapolis. She is a four-time NESCAC champion in the 100-yard butterfly among her numerous individual and relay wins. The Bangor High graduate also was named to the NESCAC 2018 Winter All Academic team.

Former Brunswick High and Bath YMCA Long Reach Swim Club swimmer Caitlin Tycz competed for the University of Southern California at this year’s NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship. She swam the 100-yard butterfly (53.82 seconds) and 200 butterfly (1:57.6).

Stanford won the 2018 championship, and Southern California finished ninth.

At the NCAA Division ll nationals, Ellsworth’s Talor Hamilton anchored Florida Southern University’s bronze-medal 200 freestyle relay (1:20.2) with a 20.05 split. Queen University of North Carolina won the national championship meet and Florida Southern placed fourth.

Mount Desert Island’s Leila Johnston, a junior at Florida State University, swam impressively at the recent Atlantic Coast Conference Championship. She clocked a a 50.9 in the 100 free, a 23.2 in the 50 free and 54.1 in the 100 butterfly.

Nate Samson of Brunswick swam a 47.2 in the 100 back, went 20.3 in the 50 free and touched in at 46.3 in the 100 free for Florida State at the ACC meet. Samson will participate as a relay swimmer for the Seminoles March 21-24 in the NCAA Division I Swimming and Diving Championships at the University of Minnesota.

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Pete Warner

Pete graduated from Bangor High School in 1980 and earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He grew up fishing at his family's camp on Sebago Lake but didn't take...